Marketing comes in many shapes and sizes, but the most successful method these days tends to be interactive marketing. Instead of simply displaying a product and hoping consumers will bite, companies have developed new strategic marketing tactics to engage customers.

Email. Nobody likes seeing an inbox full of spam and ads, but this method can really work well in certain situations. If a customer signs up for your newsletter, weekly deals, notifications, or updates, you’ve got the go-ahead to promote your business over email. Beware of over-sending, however; too much mail equals fodder for the trash folder.

Blogging. A blog post that talks about blogging—how meta. Posts like these give companies the opportunity to be more casual and on-the-level with consumers. Content should be short, fun, and informative.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Websites and blogs are part of the Internet, and giant search engines like Google help people find what they’re looking for. Make sure your content includes keywords, relevant titles, and a fitting description. Add appropriate tags and properly categorize posts as well.

Widgets. These are simple, downloadable tools for smart phones. Have the weather on your phone so you can see it without opening an app? Widget. Calendar right there on the lock screen? Widget. Develop and brand a widget that makes sense for your business and offer it for free so people can use and share it.

Targeting. Youngsters probably aren’t interested in needlepoint. Unless you’re Taylor Swift. Direct your marketing at consumers who are interested in your product or service. When it’s relevant to the consumer, they’re more likely to listen.

Offline Activation. You can still advertise in traditional ways: billboards, radio, and television are great places to make URLs or Twitter handles available offline. This way, people will know how to find you online.

Sponsorships. Making friends is always nice. If another company already has a broad online presence, strike a deal and partner with them. That way you each bring your own audiences to each other—mutualism at its finest.

Social Networking. And now for the biggie. Social media is king these days, so get your company a Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or what-have-you. Post regular updates, say witty things, and reinforce your brand. If people like it, they’ll share it.

If you’re lucky, customers will help you shape your brand by participating in your advertising campaign. In the meantime, look for the next blog about social media techniques and examples!